A Review of Some Picture Books About the Quran

Assalamu aleikum!

Quran picture books Reviews

1. My First Quran Book & Coloring Book by Shereen Sharief

Summary: Often children memorise Surah after Surah of the Quran without knowing even it’s simple meanings and we as parents find it difficult to explain it to them. With the help of this picture book your children will be able to read Juz Amma in Arabic and instantly know the simple meaning of the verses through engaging illustrations. It will help your children visualise the simple meanings of the verses which will later make the Tafsir and the explanations of the verses easier for them to grasp. This bright and colourful book will also help make memorising the Quran much more fun and enjoyable for them.

Review: The picture book is aimed at children 7+. The illustrations are descriptive and show no faces. The verses of Juz Amma from the Holy Quran are always written in Arabic and in English. At times, the tafsir of some of the surahs are also included. My son enjoyed flipping through the pages of the picture book and then coloring the supporting and accompanying coloring book. There are a lot of information in the picture book, and I’m tempted to say that it’s almost inclusive about the details one needs to know about Juz Amma. To go back to my little reader, I had to teach him the adab and fiqh required in our madhab while handling these two books as these rules are not universal and differ within the ummah. Anyway, alhamdullilah, my son is a good listener and he complied. Masha’Allah. Overall, we recommend these two books to Muslim parents.

Rating : 5/5

2. My First Book about the Qur’an by Sara Khan

Summary: Inside this board book, toddlers and young children will find out about the Qur’an’s beautiful teachings: to care for all creation; to respect the books of God; to be good to one another; and to believe in Allah, the Creator. Stunning illustrations, full of color, bring the pages to life and the carefully written text is simple, easy to understand, and suitable to be read aloud. It also features some facts about the Qur’an and common questions children might ask, such as: what does the word “Qur’an” actually mean?

Review: This is a lesser concentrated version of the Quran book mentioned above dealing Juz Amma. Khan’s book summarizes the golden maxims of the whole Quran with short paragraphs or sentences for younger readers instead. Some of the illustrations might raise a few eyebrows because of their execution but overall, it’s a good illustrated read.

Rating : 4/5

 

You can find all three of them on Amazon.

Just click on the hyperlinked titles to be redirected insha’Allah.

 

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

 

The Test — A Review

Bismillah,

The-Muslims-The-Test-Book-1

Author : Ahmad Philips is an author, illustrator, and animator. Raised in Michigan, he graduated in animation and worked as a video editor, illustrator, animator, and game designer. He’s traveled to different countries such as Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Malaysia, before coming back to his home town East Lansing, Michigan, where he currently lives with his wife and two kids. Outside of writing and drawing, Ahmad enjoys playing basketball, and spending time with his family.

Summary: Hani Muslim, a 7 year old Muslim boy, fails a quiz that he forgot to study for. His sister Huda, and his father give him words of advice. Hani realizes he should try his best in everything he does, in order to please his Lord (Allah). If he does this, then he can never fail, because deeds are based on intentions and correct actions. Now Hani is determined to do well on the next test, but things don’t go according to plan!

If you’re looking for a children’s Islamic book to add to your bookshelf, then look no further! The Test is sure to give a dramatic story while also promoting good Islamic morals and good Islamic conduct.

Review: In this series, Hani is back again with a new fun adventure. He knows his weakness; being an absent-minded person. Therefore, he works his life around that weakness to come up on top. We should all know all weaknesses in order to challenge them and succeed in anything we plan on doing.
The illustrations were also way better than the first graphic novel that the author drew that I also had the chance to review. Bravo to the author on improving his craft.
Overall, this a good YA book with a timeless lesson.

Rating: 5/5

 

Info to connect with the author:

Website : https://themuslimscomic.com/

Instagram : @philz.draws

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/TheMuslimsSeries

***

AUG 13, 2017

Bismillah,

The-Muslims-by-ahmad-phillips-picture

The Muslims is a new Muslim graphic novel aimed at young Muslim children.

Author : Ahmad Philips is an author, illustrator, and animator. Raised in Michigan, he graduated in animation and worked as a video editor, illustrator, animator, and game designer. He’s traveled to different countries such as Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Malaysia, before coming back to his home town East Lansing, Michigan, where he currently lives with his wife and two kids. Outside of writing and drawing, Ahmad enjoys playing basketball, and spending time with his family.

SummaryThe Muslims is about 2 kids, Hani and Huda, and the lessons they learn through everyday life. Each chapter tackles different moral issues such as stealing, sharing, being grateful and much more. Join Hani and Huda as they learn different aspects of Islam through their own life experiences.

Thoughts: For someone who grew up reading Manga graphic novels like Naruto, I appreciated this effort by Author Ahmad Phillips to cater to a young Muslim audience.

The book has 5 illustrated chapters which deal with different situations.

Chapter 1 is titled ‘Life is a Test’. Chapter 2 is ‘Rainy Day’. Chapter 3 is named ‘Being Truthful’. Chapter 4 ‘Having Fun’ and finally Chapter 5 deals with ‘Arrogance’. Chapter 1, 2, and 5 mainly revolve around Hani, the male character. On the other hand, Chapter 3 and 4 are mainly about his sister Huda.

In chapter 2, I wished there was a flashback or an explanation on how the children were taught the duas about rain in the first place.

Chapter 5 ends with a cliffhanger, and I’m curious to see how the ending scene plays out. Also, I don’t know why the teacher had to be so large… That said, it made me giggle a bit.

Having said all  these above, the art of the book is a bit simplistic in my opinion but the graphic novel has good maxims we can use to teach Muslim children. In other words, I feel like The Muslims needs more details in the background of certain illustrations or more realistic facial expressions throughout and consistently the comic. Not to be harsh, the illustrations are at a sketch level now and need to be more fleshed out to achieve the level of mainstream comics’ quality insha’Allah. Of course, that also requires capital that self-publishers don’t always have.

Hoping this review is beneficial to the author and wishing him all the best with his art, ameen.

You can get your copy on Amazon here. And watch a video about the characters of the comic here on YouTube.

Jazakh’Allah khair for reading,

Papatya*

P.S. Info to connect with the author

Website : https://themuslimscomic.com/

Instagram : @philz.draws

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/TheMuslimsSeries

Did Musa St-St-Stutter Too? — A Review

Did Musa Stutter TOO

About the Book : Afraid of how his class will react to his stutter, Ibrahimi comes up with a plan to stay home from school, but his mother has something else in mind. After she reminds him that the beloved Prophet Musa saved a nation while speaking uniquely too, will Ibrahimi have the courage to face his fear?

Author : Keila Kaci

Illustrator : Andrea Lucci

Publisher: Prolance

Review and thoughts : This book teaches young believers a very powerful dua when they have to address an audience and their nerves get the best of them. It also teaches about a very important Muslim Prophet; Prophet Musa aleihi salam as he implored Allah in Surah Taha. After Little Ibrahimi’s Mommy tells him of this Nabi, Ibrahimi draws strength and resilience to face his ordeal; presenting his speech in front of his classmates fiercely. In all, Did Musa ST-St-Stutter encourages Muslim children to rely on dua in the face of any hardship. Good job, masha’Allah.

I received a free copy for my honest review.

sneak peak musa

Find it on the publisher’s site here or on Amazon here.

Rating : 4/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

The Most Precious Gift — A Review

Precious Gift Launch Poster

Summary : Join Ziyad as he learns ten benefits from the most precious gift from God…prayer. While all the animals in the jungle are busy preparing for a party, Ziyad asks each one of them what prayer does for them. They mention calmness, togetherness, and hope just to name a few. Before the party starts, Ziyad and his friends and family gather for Maghreb prayer, reminding each one that even though their party awaits, it is so important to reap the benefits of their daily prayers.

Author : Yasmine Abuzeid

Illustrator : Melani Putri

Publisher: Prolance

Review and thoughts : The Most Precious Gift is a very creative children’s book that introduces salat and dhikr to Muslim children. It also teaches them that prayer is the most precious gift from Allah that they need to value because it will always be a source of comfort, a shield, and a safe haven for them. See slides below for more details.

sneak peak 3 precious gift

Finally, it also gives them the name of the benefits of prayer in Arabic in the illustrations as well. For instance, silah for connection and saeda for happiness. That is very smart masha’Allah.

Find it on the publisher’s site here or on Amazon here.

Rating : 4/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

Bilal Cooks Daal — A Review

Bilal Cooks Daal

Summary : Six-year-old Bilal introduces his friends to his favorite dish—daal!—in this charming picture book that showcases the value of patience, teamwork, community, and sharing.

Six-year-old Bilal is excited to help his dad make his favorite food of all-time: daal! The slow-cooked lentil dish from South Asia requires lots of ingredients and a whole lot of waiting. Bilal wants to introduce his friends to daal. They’ve never tried it! As the day goes on, the daal continues to simmer, and more kids join Bilal and his family, waiting to try the tasty dish. And as time passes, Bilal begins to wonder: Will his friends like it as much as he does?

This debut picture book by Aisha Saeed, with charming illustrations by Anoosha Syed, uses food as a means of bringing a community together to share in each other’s family traditions.

Author : Aisha Saeed

Illustrator : Anoosha Syed

Publisher: Salaam Reads

Review and thoughts : Bilal Cooks Daal is the third book by the author that I have read where the name Bilal occurs alhamdullilah. She must certainly like the name masha’Allah alhamdullilah. I like that this time it didn’t come unintentionally mis-constructed to me like it did in the first two instances.

Overall, Bilal Cooks Daal is rhythmic, and it teaches children to be patient. It also teaches them colors, smell, taste, and mathematics. This is wonderful all around. The illustrations are also well done. We didn’t find any issue in the book, too. Alhamdullilah.

Find it on Amazon here.

Rating : 5/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

The Proudest Blue — A Review

Assalamu aleikum,

the proudest blue 1

Summary : With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.

Authors : Ibtihaj Muhammad & S.K.Ali

Illustrator : Hatem Aly

Publisher: Little, Brown Books

Review and thoughts : The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family is a lyrical account of a kind-hearted black Muslim character called Faizah about her older sister’s hijab on the first day of school. Her older sister’s name is Asiya.

Faizah and Asiya are the actual names of Ibtihaj’s sisters. I briefly met the author during eid prayer while visiting my family a couple years ago in New Jersey.

Asiya, her real sister, was actually very friendly to me. Therefore, I like the protagonist in the book because she is based on a real character, alhamdullilah. That day, my son was wearing a blue outfit from head to toes, too. Masha’Allah. After I read it, he picked up the book and mock-read it himself. On the inside flap of the back cover, he spotted his first name in the last names of one of the authors. That puzzled him, and he wondered how his name got on a book. He asked me if I put it there, and I told him, “No.” Hehe. Alhamdullilah.

To continue, The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family shows the unbreakable spirit of a young girl in the face of bullying. She quickly remembers the strong and powerful words of her mom to help her carry on, head high:

 Don’t carry around the hurtful words that others say. Drop them. They are not yours to keep. They belong to those who said them.

Easily said than done perhaps, but they carry a lot of truth. Some days, it will be easier to overlook the abuse, and other days, it won’t be so easy for sure because of the whispers. But, we must remain steadfast and do us and hope that one day they see the truth. If they don’t see it, oh well, that’s not our problem. It’s theirs.

Furthermore, Hatem Aly’s illustrations are consistent with his previous works I have had the chance to review or read. Plus, I love blue. It’s a color of order, authority and self-respect. Masha’Allah.

Above all, The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family is an empowering read to add to the bookshelf of the Mumeenas you’re raising in your respective homes. It could also help with cultural sensitivity awareness tailored to non-Muslims so that they may not fear the hijab. Or at least, so they may respect other people’s differences. 

Rating : 4/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

 

 

Eid Breakfast at Abuela’s — A Review

Eid Abuelas Launch Poster

Summary: Join Sofia, her mom and dad who spend Eid – the Islamic holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan – with her Mexican grandmother, who is not Muslim but chooses to throw them a festive breakfast which includes traditional Mexican food, decorations, and activities. The book includes many Spanish words and a glossary as well to introduce the reader to simple words in Spanish and even Arabic.

Author: Mariam Saad was raised in Southern California by Egyptian parents. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton. She worked at the family business for many years, with schools locally, and taught 8th Grade English abroad. With the birth of her son, her time and energy were focused at home while she surrounded him with reading materials and developmental toys. Before getting a taste for his board books, her son had taken interest in listening to her voice while he admired the images and felt the textures on the pages. This was the start of her inspiration in entering the world of children through story telling and lesson teaching.

Illustrator: Chaymaa Sobhy is a children’s book illustrator based in Cairo, Egypt.
www.linktr.ee/chaymaadraws
Instagram: @chaymaadraws

Publisher: Prolance

Review: Eid Breakfast at Abuela’s is a very cute story that reflects the diversity of the United States. Though, Grandma is Mexican and not Muslim, there are many Spanish speaking Muslim families who will see value in this book as their families are somewhat reflected in the book with the language. Religion tolerance is also portrayed in this book as well. Little Sofia who is cute as a button speaks Arabic, English and Spanish; therefore, she is tri-lingual. The illustrations are also evocative and the texts are simple. While the book centers around eid al-Fitr, it can be a very good read for eid al-Adha since both holidays deal with huge breakfasts in Muslim households. Get it here at the Publisher’s site.

Rating : 4.5/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

I received a free eCopy for my honest feedback.  Check out the Sneak Peek Page below!

Sneak Page eid at abuela

The Candle and The Flame — An Interview with the Author

Between Sisters, SVP!

Nafiza the candle and the flame

Nafiza Azad is an avid reader and reviewer of YA books. Today she is at our bookstore to discuss her debut YA high fantasy novel The Candle and the Flame. To give you a little background on this book, please read the summary below.

Azad’s debut YA fantasy is set in a city along the Silk Road that is a refuge for those of all faiths, where a young woman is threatened by the war between two clans of powerful djinn.

Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is…

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